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15 Aug 2014

Aun Pheap & Zsombor Peter, Cambodia Daily

Cambodia: ANZ says it is “not considering compensation measures” for displaced families since it no longer finances Phnom Penh Sugar

“ANZ Refuses to Help Evictees of Senator’s Farm”, 15 August 2014

About 100 villagers who lost land to a sugarcane plantation, which was until recently financed by ANZ Royal Bank, traveled to Phnom Penh to protest in front of the bank’s headquarters…but failed to convince the bank to help them…After meeting with ANZ officials behind closed doors...villager Chheng Sopheap said the bank refused to budge on its stance that it was no longer bound to help them…Stephen Ries, spokesman for ANZ Royal’s Australian parent company, ANZ...reiterated that the bank would do nothing more to help the families. “ANZ is no longer a financier of [Phnom Penh Sugar] and it is no longer appropriate to have any discussions on the company’s business,” he said…“Given this is an issue for [Phnom Penh Sugar] to manage with the local communities, ANZ is not considering any compensation measures.”…Phnom Penh Sugar says it has compensated the families, provided them with new land and offered them good jobs on the plantation. But the families say the compensation has been paltry, the land poor and parched, and the jobs no substitute for the farmland they have lost…